It is strange going to a shopping mall geared for the rich when you have no intention of buying anything and are there merely to pass some time. The obligatory shopping center food court can be a particularly thought provoking place to hang out when you’re not eating. Before lunch the mall itself was still fairly busy but the crowd was primarily the rich doing a little shopping. At lunch though, particularly at the food court, things get really busy and the crowd changes, becoming more blue collar. All these people…
I sit here in front of a massive fireplace in the center of the food court, like the fireplace in a giant’s living room. It comes complete with fake fire tending tools to scale — a giant poker, ash shovel and tongs bolted to the wall and serving no real purpose other than decoration since even the fire is fake. It is nothing but a gas flame that can be turned off when everyone goes home and the shops all lock the garage doors over their store fronts. The fake fire, the over-sized gaudy advertisements and decorations everywhere, the fake smiles on the sales people… it all adds to the surreal scene of close to a hundred people of all walks of life coming in, walking about and eating. Moving their mouths like cows chewing their cud as they talk and eat, eat and talk.
Sometimes I have felt like I am alone in the universe and everyone else is merely actors on the stage there to entertain, challenge or distract me. It’s at times like this though, seeing all these people so obviously going about their own lives oblivious to the loner at the table writing in the old fashioned way of putting pen to paper, that I realize the truth. It is they that are real and complete, and I that is just a shadow looking on, full of a strange desire for some unknown thing that I do not understand but somehow detect in the lives of these passing strangers.
5/8/2013 – Park Meadows Mall